I’m A Fan: Sheena Patel in Conversation with Sophie Heawood

June 23 @ 7:00 pm 8:30 pm


Join us when we welcome Sheena Patel to the shop to read from and discuss her extraordinary debut novel, I’M A FAN. Please note that tickets are very limited and are expected to sell out quickly, but the event will be recorded and available to listen to later also.

A single speaker uses the story of their experience in a seemingly unequal, unfaithful relationship as a prism through which to examine the complicated hold we each have on one another. With a clear and unforgiving eye, the narrator unpicks the behaviour of all involved, herself included, and makes startling connections between the power struggles at the heart of human relationships and those of the wider world, in turn offering a devastating critique of access, social media, patriarchal heteronormative relationships, and our cultural obsession with status and how that status is conveyed.

In this incendiary debut, Sheena Patel announces herself as a writer capable of rendering a range of emotions and visceral experiences on the page. Sex, violence, politics, tenderness, humour – Patel handles them all with both originality and dexterity of voice.

‘Pure fire from start to finish. Sheena Patel is the future.’ — Niven Govinden

Sheena Patel is a writer and assistant director for film and TV who was born and raised in North West London. She is part of the poetry collective 4 BROWN GIRLS WHO WRITE and her debut novel I’M A FAN was published by Rough Trade Books in 2022.

4 BROWN GIRLS WHO WRITE have given performances and talks across the UK and internationally, including at the British Library, Tate, the Muscat Literature Festival, and as a support act for Sleaford Mods. Their work has been featured on Poetry Unbound and British Vogue.

Sophie Heawood grew up in York, where she went to the local schools while longing to attend Mallory Towers. She studied languages at Kings College London but dropped out and eventually got her degree at night school. She has lived in Barcelona, where she was a teenage au pair, Hong Kong, where she acted as an extra in low-budget Chinese soap operas, and Los Angeles, where she interviewed celebrities for British newspapers. Her journalism career began writing pop music reviews for the Guardian and she now writes for The Guardian, Observer, Sunday Times and Vogue. Sophie now lives in Hackney, East London with her daughter and their dog, Chips. Her bestselling memoir, The Hungover Games, was published by Cape in 2020 and has been optioned for TV.

Pages of Hackney

020 8525 1452

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Pages of Hackney

70 Lower Clapton Road
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020 8525 1452
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June Bank Holiday Opening Hours

As the nation prepares itself for a Totally Normal One we’ve decided to do the same. We’ll be open for our regular hours throughout the bank holiday weekend, serving good vibes and great reads. Come say hi! 👋

Thursday: 11 – 6
Friday: 11 – 6
Saturday: 10 – 6
Sunday: 11 – 6

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Reading: Girls on Bikes / Keeping the House

We’re really thrilled to be able to share this special reading from Tice Cin to follow her brilliant recent GIRLS ON BIKES playlist. Bathed in gorgeous dappled sunlight before Cemile AKA bougainvillea, Tice reads from her Jhalak Prize shortlisted debut novel KEEPING THE HOUSE.

She says: “Cemile falls around accompanying leaves. The extract in this alternative video reading follows two girls biking through Lordship rec, time slowing and speeding with the awe and surprise that wind-whistling offers.”

We LOVE this reading, and we’re just made up to be Tice’s bookshop champions ahead of the final Jhalak Prize announcement on 26 May. Have a listen to Tice’s GIRLS ON BIKES playlist, read more about the book, and keep an eye out for another special something next week.

“Nene says it is expensive buying a bike, what for when the English government give you buses; sometimes you can even go with trains. If you want to go to the park, you can run to the park. If you don’t want to run, then you can walk through the alley that takes you down to Lordship Rec, if you walk even more you can go all the way through the grass to the bit where the Moselle needs to be pumped through so that it gets the right kind of water in, instead of the wrong kind of water. Brown. Murky. Some shoes floating. All different types of shoes, brown leather ones and Velcro black and whites. Floating on the water, chucked there by someone who isn’t grateful for what they have. I still want to take the bike, though, so when Cemile offers to ride with me perched on the back, I’m gone as soon as Anne lets me.

Us kids in twos going


of wind.

biking like whistles

My fingers pinching in her belly.

Go a bit slower when there’s people in the way!
Cemile? Cemile! Dirty pavement cracking at the wheels.
Bits more wind and bits more wobble.

Pavement starts to blend into grass. She’s leading us with a map in her head, past a small hedge that looks forest-ready through Lordship Rec.
dodging benches in bushes like old cars,

towards Farm.

Moselle water sounds in my head.
If you listen close, the water sounds friendly as steel pans around here.”

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Free UK shipping this weekend!

To celebrate the May bank holiday and International Workers Day, we’re offering free UK delivery on all orders this weekend! Just enter the promo code below at checkout and you won’t need to pay for postage.


Grab yourself a new read for May, or why not take the opportunity to send a book you love to a pal you haven’t seen in a while?

This is something we’ve never tried before, and we’d love to be able to make it a semi-regular event if it seems there is enough interest!

The promo code will remain valid until midnight on Monday 2 May, and subscriptions and sale items are excluded. We’ll also be offering free shipping on all non-stock orders placed by email, so please get in touch if you don’t see what you’re looking for on the site.

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Playlist: Girls on Bikes / Keeping the House

We’re delighted to share a special Girls on Bikes playlist featuring tracks selected by Tice Cin to accompany her Jhalak Prize shortlisted debut novel, KEEPING THE HOUSE. She says:

“In KEEPING THE HOUSE, backies are just as important as steering the helm when veering through the vastness of Lordship Rec and its surrounds in north London. Enter into a sonic journey of longing and the split choices of young adulthood that imbue one of the core scenes from the novel.”

Us kids in twos
biking like
of wind.
My fingers pinching in her belly.
Go a bit slower when there’s people in the way!
Cemile? Cemile!
Dirty pavement cracking at the wheels.
Bits more wind and bits more wobble.
Pavement starts to blend into grass. She’s leading us
with a map in her head, past a small hedge that looks
forest-ready through Lordship Rec.
dodging benches in bushes like old cars,
towards Farm.
Moselle water sounds in my head.
If you listen close, the water sounds friendly as steel
pans around here.

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We’re looking for a Saturday bookseller

We’re currently looking for a part time bookseller to join our team. Have a read of the details below, and please follow the instructions if you’d like to apply.

Hours per week: Every Saturday, with some flex hours on weekdays and evenings (minimum 8 hours per week)
Location: 70 Lower Clapton Road, E5 0RN (with occasional off-site event work)
Term: 3 months initially, with the potential for extension
Rate of pay: London living wage
Key skills: Friendly and outgoing; Confident multi-tasking; Creative problem-solving; Comfort working independently in busy environment.

Previous bookselling experience is preferred, and a keen knowledge of and interest in contemporary UK publishing is a big bonus. If you’re familiar with Pages of Hackney and what we do, please mention this when you apply. We encourage applications from all backgrounds and communities, and actively encourage applicants whose backgrounds are typically underrepresented in UK books and publishing.

If this sounds like it might be you and you’re interested in applying to join our team, please send a CV and short cover letter to the email address below by midnight on Monday 2 May. Thank you folks!

[email protected]

Note: If you have sent us a CV by email within the last year, we’ll be reviewing these alongside new applications so please only re-submit if your experience or circumstances have changed.

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Jhalak Prize 2022: Keeping the House by Tice Cin

We’re delighted to be partnering with the Jhalak Prize once again to champion an incredible book from this year’s Adult Prize shortlist, Tice Cin’s KEEPING THE HOUSE.

KEEPING THE HOUSE is simply one of the most innovative and exciting works of London fiction in recent memory. Tottenham’s Tice Cin has so warmly and carefully illuminated an underrepresented community in our corner of the capital, and it’s an honour to champion a book that celebrates migration across multiple generations with such vision, hope, and love.

Ollie recommends:

“Such a bold and assured debut. Extraordinary feats of literary synaesthesia deliver the reader to realms of family- and community-making that stretch far beyond postcodes and borders, and in doing so help to rethink what a crime novel can be.

Keeping the House offers an unforgettable portrait of North East London as the 20th Century became the 21st, and with it Tice Cin has established herself as a formidable force in contemporary British fiction.”

Tice Cin’s brilliant (and Jhalak Prize shortlisted!) debut, KEEPING THE HOUSE, is available to order for collection or nationwide delivery.

Keep an eye on our Instagram where we’ll be sharing more about KEEPING THE HOUSE before the final prize winner is announced on 26 May. You can also browse all the shortlisted books for both this year’s Jhalak Prizes both online and in store. Good to luck to Tice and all of the shortlisted authors!

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Melissa Febos and Tanya Shadrick in conversation

It was a real joy to welcome Melissa Febos and Tanya Shadrick yesterday evening for a brilliant discussion of the art of memoir, the challenges of corporeal writing, and navel-gazing as an act of resistance. Thank you so, so much to Melissa and Tanya as well as all of you that joined us live!

Watch below if you missed it, and be sure to check out Melissa’s new book BODY WORK and Tanya’s book THE CURE FOR SLEEP, both available to order for collection or nationwide delivery.

Body Work / The Cure for Sleep: Melissa Febos and Tanya Shadrick in conversation

Virtual Event Virtual Event

March 16 @ 7:00 pm 8:00 pm GMT

Join us for our first virtual event of 2022 when we welcome Melissa Febos, author of BODY WORK, and Tanya Shadrick, author of THE CURE FOR SLEEP, for an unmissable discussion of the radical power of personal narrative. The event will be hosted via Instagram Live, with no registration required. It is free to attend, and if possible we encourage you to show your support for this event with a donation. All contributions made using the form below will be donated to the British Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal after the event.

Instructions for viewing a live broadcast on Instagram

Body Work: The Radical Power of Personal Narrative

Melissa Febos

In this bold and exhilarating mix of memoir and writing guide, Melissa Febos tackles the emotional, psychological, and physical work of writing intimately while offering an utterly fresh examination of the storyteller’s life and the challenges it presents.

How do we write about the relationships that have formed us? How do we describe our bodies, their desires and traumas? What does it mean to have your writing, or living, dismissed as “navel-gazing” ― or else hailed as “so brave, so raw”? And to whom, in the end, do our most intimate stories belong?

Drawing on her journey from aspiring writer to acclaimed author and writing professor ― via addiction and recovery, sex work and academia ― Melissa Febos has created a captivating guide to the writing life, and a brilliantly unusual exploration of subjectivity, privacy, and the power of divulgence. Candid and inspiring, Body Work will empower readers and writers alike, offering ideas ― and occasional notes of caution ― to anyone who has ever hoped to see their true self reflecting back from the open page.

The Cure for Sleep

Tanya Shadrick

Just days into motherhood, a woman begins dying. Fast and without warning.

On return from near-death, Tanya Shadrick vows to stop sleepwalking through life. To take more risks, like the characters in the fairy tales she loved as a small girl, before loss and fear had her retreat into routine and daydreams.

Around the care of young children, she starts to play with the shape and scale of her days: to stray from the path, get lost in the woods, make bargains with strangers.

As she moves beyond her respectable roles as worker, wife and mother in a small town, Tanya learns what it takes – and costs – to break the spell of longing for love, approval, safety, rescue.


March 16
7:00 pm – 8:00 pm GMT
Event Tags:


Pages of Hackney
020 8525 1452
View Organiser Website
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Closed 18 Feb due to weather warning

We’re playing it safe and keeping the shop closed today due to the weather alert. You can still browse our shelves virtually and order online while our doors are closed, and we’ll be open again from 10am tomorrow.

We’ll still be on email and socials today, and will welcome your enquiries/reading recs/playlists/memes. Stay safe!